The Quirky PrintSnap Instant Camera Let’s You Create Instant Prints On The Cheap

Dec 19, 2014

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

The Quirky PrintSnap Instant Camera Let’s You Create Instant Prints On The Cheap

Dec 19, 2014

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

printsnapAs a camera, the PrintSnap may not be for everyone, but don’t let that stop you from checking out this awesome camera hack. The prototype of the instant camera featured in the quirky video below, was handcrafted by electronic tinkerer, Ch00f, who had an epiphany while waiting in line at the local Nordstroms. The quickness in which the receipt was printed using a thermal printer inspired him create a device that would further utilize the printing technology. After mulling over a couple initial ideas for a couple years, Ch00f finally set them aside and decided to create the PrintSnap.

Now, after just  three months of construction, a prototype is finished. Take a quick look at the funny spoof like video he’s created to show people his invention:

YouTube video

Making Instant Cameras Afforadble Again

The PrintSnap allows you to take JPEG images and have an instant print all with the same device at a (less than) pennies on the dollar when compared to the cost of printing an instant photo on Impossible film. However, seeing as how the images are printed on the cheap using thermal receipt paper, image quality is obviously going to be lacking. Thermal printers use no ink in their printing, rather a thermal printer’s print head strategically applies heat to specific spots on the thermal paper, thus burning the image into the heat sensitive paper. This means any photos taken with the PrintSnap will be printed out only in black and white.

printsnap1

But, for Choof, whose main goal is to bring back the instant picture and make it an affordable again, the image quality issue isn’t an issue at all. He says image quality as a whole generally gives way to convenience and accessibility. Obviously, not for most professional photographers, but for the photographers who would be interested in such a novelty camera, the quirkiness of the thermal paper prints are all part of the charm.

The Build

Ch00f has a really great, extensive write-up on the build over his blog that you should definitely check out if you’re interested in the DIY aspect of this story. But, to give you an overview of what went inside this clever hack, here’s a list of the main components:

You can find all the documentation and schematics he has on each of the specific parts over on his blog. While you’re there, you can also read about the extensive amount of coding and troubleshooting into the project.

[ via Hack A Day ]

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer and content strategist based in Hawi, Hawaii. Her work has been shared by top publications like The New York Times, Adobe, and others.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 responses to “The Quirky PrintSnap Instant Camera Let’s You Create Instant Prints On The Cheap”

  1. MikeDF Avatar
    MikeDF

    This is what I love about DIYPhotography! Is it too late to make one for Christmas?

  2. Paul Menard Avatar
    Paul Menard

    do the prints last? ive had some receipts fade to nothing very quickly…

    1. Mike DF Avatar
      Mike DF

      You could always take a photograph of the prints!

  3. JP Avatar
    JP

    This was actually done by Polaroid in the 1990’s (early 2000’s?), when they were looking for new ways to create instant prints. They announced two products, one in B&W (based on thermal printing, but much more permanent), and the other in color, but then they went bankrupt in 2001. The B&W product never appeared, but the color product spun out of Polaroid as a new firm and became Zink Imaging.

  4. Jean-Claude Gureghian Avatar
    Jean-Claude Gureghian

    No thanks…